Privatization and contracting out of public services to for-profit operators by the City of Kawartha Lakes, Trent University and the Peterborough Regional Health Centre will come at a high cost to residents of Lindsay and Peterborough if not stopped, according to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.
“Municipalities, like the City of Kawartha Lakes, mistakenly believe that contracting out and privatizing services is going to save them money,” said CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan. “In the long term, it’s been proven time and again in communities across the country that privatization of services and infrastructure costs taxpayers more and delivers less.”
Ryan was speaking on the eve of a free concert featuring Kim Mitchell and the all-female band DAME that the union is hosting for residents of The Kawarthas this Friday, September 26, at the Lindsay Fairgrounds. Called ‘Rock for Public Services,’ the concert is meant to celebrate and bring home the importance of public services in building and strengthening communities. It’s also a thank you to residents for standing by CUPE municipal workers who stood up to Kawathas Mayor Ric McGee earlier this year to stop the privatization and contracting out of public services.
“For seven weeks, we held out to try and stop Mayor Ric McGee and the city council from contracting out work to for-profit operators,” said CUPE 855 President Lyn Edwards. “When work is contracted out to the lowest bidder paying low wages, this hurts our community. People can’t afford to live on $12 an hour. They can’t purchase goods and services from the small business community. They can’t afford to buy a home or send their kids to university.”
Ryan also cited two other privatization issues that are affecting Kawarthas residents. Trent University wants to commercialize its campus by letting a for-profit corporation develop a private residence that no one wants. Along with destroying Trent’s unique college system, the development is seen as a more costly form of residence that 75% of Trent students say they don’t want. The Peterborough Regional Health Centre has already contracted out its cafeteria services to private operators. Now the same jobs that used to pay good wages are paying $9 an hour to cafeteria workers, according to Ryan.
“Your hard-earned tax dollars have built, paid for and delivered public services,” said Ryan. “Residents need to stand up for quality public services and not let politicians sell them off to the lowest bidder through privatization, contracting out or relocation of these jobs and services.”
For more information, contact:
Sid Ryan President, CUPE Ontario 416-209-0066
Lyn Edwards President, CUPE 855 705-324-6333
Matthew Martin Treasurer, CUPE 3908 705-761-1211
Valerie Dugale CUPE Communications 647-225-3685